Discover the origins of Halloween and other interesting trivia about one of the most exciting holidays of the year.
Halloween is short for Hallow’s Eve.
Halloween is Hallow’s Eve or Hallow’s Evening (October 31), which refers to the night before Hallowmas (November 1). Halloween has variously been called All Hallows’ Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, Snap-Apple Night, and Samhain.
Ireland is the birthplace of Halloween.
Originally a pagan festival called Samhain, Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtics celebrating the end of summer and the return of departed souls every first of November.
How dressing up as ghosts and ghouls started
The Celts believed that masquerading themselves would help them to deceive and escape the harm of wandering spirits during Samhain.
What is the Halloween capital of the world?
Salem, Massachusetts and Anoka, Minnesota are self-proclaimed Halloween capitals of the world.
Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
The fear or phobia of this holiday is usually triggered by a variety of factors but is usually caused by negative or traumatic experiences related to Halloween. Samhainophobia is frequently linked to arachnophobia or fear of spiders since it’s one of the most common decors used during this time of the year.
Interesting stories behind Halloween’s iconic Jack O’ lantern
According to Irish folklore, Jack O’ lanterns were actually named after Jack, a blacksmith, who because he made a pact with the devil was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. His soul was condemned to forever wander the earth with a burning coal from a turnip, which he hollowed out. People in Ireland believe that hanging a lantern in their front door or window would keep Jack’s wandering soul away.
The second one is from the ancient Celtic tradition of burning bonfires during Samhain still carried around today. In order to carry home an ember from the communal bonfire, the people would hollow out a turnip so they could walk home with the fire still burning.
The first Jack O’ lanterns were actually made from turnips.
When the tradition was brought to the United States by the first Scottish/Irish immigrants, they adapted it to pumpkins, which was easier to come by than turnips.
The world’s biggest haunted house.
The Haunted Cave in Lewisburg, Ohio is the Guinness World Record longest haunted house in the world. It measures 3,564 feet long and is creepily located 80 feet below ground in an abandoned mine.
Halloween is the 2nd highest-grossing holiday in the world next to Christmas.
The US Census estimated an average of 41 million trick-or-treaters ages 5 to 14 in America in 2013, with parents spending a whopping $1 billion dollars on children’s costumes alone. These figures tripled the following year.
Días de Los Muertos
Instead of Halloween, Mexicans, whether it be in Mexico, Latin America, and in Latino communities throughout the globe, celebrate Días de Los Muertos or the Days of the Dead, a two-day festival from November 1 to 2 instead of Halloween. They honor their dead with colorful celebrations and merrymaking.
The biggest Halloween parade.
New York’s Village Halloween parade is the largest Halloween parade in the country. It boasts of 50,000 participants and magnets over 2 million spectators.
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